Tone Mapping Your Photos

Tone Mapping, a comparison

A comparison of the original photo verses the tone mapped version.

A Comparison

According to Wikipedia this is the definition of “Tone mapping”

Tone mapping is a technique used in image processing and computer graphics to map one set of colors to another in order to approximate the appearance of high dynamic range images in a medium that has a more limited dynamic range. Print-outs, CRT or LCD monitors, and projectors all have a limited dynamic range that is inadequate to reproduce the full range of light intensities present in natural scenes. Tone mapping addresses the problem of strong contrast reduction from the scene radiance to the displayable range while preserving the image details and color appearance important to appreciate the original scene content.

In this case I’ve taken the photos of these withering roses as a comparison. The first photo in the series is the original and the second is the tone mapped version. In order to do this type of post editing you must have a program capable of the results you are trying to achieve. I prefer the “Photomatix Pro” for all my tone mapping and HDR enhancements.

These particular photos were enhanced by using the “Painterly” settings I saved early on. It is very easy to overdo any of these enhancements, and in these photos I believe I have over done them a wee bit. If you plan to dabble with any of these programs and have never used them before, it might be wise to create whatever you think is pleasing to the eye and then walk away from it all for a good period of time. When you do come back to it you may find it looks over done. In any case, use this technology sparingly. I’ve always thought any photographer should be-able to shoot a good/great photograph before ever trying computer enhancements of any kind.

I’ve included a few free versions of HDR software for you…

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